phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Definition of phobia

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation

Definition of -phobia (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exaggerated fear of acrophobia
2 : intolerance or aversion for photophobia

Examples of phobia in a Sentence

Noun

His fear of crowds eventually developed into a phobia.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The National Institute of Mental Health has found that 6.5 percent of Americans have a phobia that prevents them from flying. Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "18 Ways to Navigate Stress at the Airport," 27 June 2018 Fears don’t get much more false than today’s rising-rate phobia. Ken Fisher, USA TODAY, "Investors: Why you shouldn't worry that rates will rise," 10 June 2018 Having a phobia, which is considered a type of anxiety, can sometimes relate back to a specific traumatic incident. Ilana Strauss, SELF, "I Was Terrified of Falling, So I Tried Parkour," 9 July 2018 Educate yourself and do the work to uproot white supremacy, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, and fat phobia/body shaming in yourself. Casey Johnston, SELF, "Ask a Swole Woman: How Can I Find Safe and Inclusive Gyms?," 23 Oct. 2018 All of these phobias sound terrible and debilitating. Alexandra Gekas, Woman's Day, "10 Fascinating Phobias," 14 Sep. 2010 And people with bigger bodies face bigotry and fat-phobia on a daily basis: In doctor’s offices, in the workplace, walking down the street. Carolyn Kylstra, SELF, "The Weight Issue: A Letter from the Editor," 25 June 2018 Failed startup Theranos targeted needle phobia to attract hundreds of millions of dollars in investment for needle-free blood-drawing technology. Mike Feibus, USA TODAY, "Afraid of needles? These start-ups are working on alternatives," 8 July 2018 My phobia also seemed to go beyond just a fear of falling. Ilana Strauss, SELF, "I Was Terrified of Falling, So I Tried Parkour," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phobia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of phobia

Noun

1786, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phobia

Noun

-phobia

Noun combining form

New Latin, from Late Latin, from Greek, from -phobos fearing, from phobos fear, flight, from phebesthai to flee; akin to Lithuanian bėgti to flee, Old Church Slavonic běžati

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about phobia

Dictionary Entries near phobia

pho

phob-

-phobe

phobia

-phobia

phobic

-phobic

Statistics for phobia

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for phobia

The first known use of phobia was in 1786

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for phobia

phobia

noun

English Language Learners Definition of phobia

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

English Language Learners Definition of -phobia (Entry 2 of 2)

: an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Kids Definition of phobia

: an unreasonable, abnormal, and lasting fear of something

phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Medical Definition of phobia

: an exaggerated and often disabling fear usually inexplicable to the subject and having sometimes a logical but usually an illogical or symbolic object, class of objects, or situation — compare compulsion, obsession

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on phobia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with phobia

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for phobia

Spanish Central: Translation of phobia

Nglish: Translation of phobia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of phobia for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about phobia

Comments on phobia

What made you want to look up phobia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move or proceed with twists and turns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!